Project Veritas Lies, Targets Beto O’Rourke Campaign Staffers

November SURPRISE??

James O’Keefe, right-wing extremist, Project Veritas Action founder and architect of the infamous 2009 ACORN sting, is at it again.  And this time, his target is the Beto O’Rourke campaign, along with other prominent Democratic operations like those for Andrew Gillum in Florida, and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.

Here’s more from Christal Hayes of USA Today

WASHINGTON – Activists with the right-wing group Project Veritas embedded with campaigns of unknowing Democrats across the country ahead of the midterms. And in most cases, candidates didn’t know they were a target until they saw the finished videos.

So far, the controversial group led by founder James O’Keefe, has posted undercover videos with liberal campaign workers or candidates in six tight races. And O’Keefe says more are to come in the days leading up to the midterms.

“It’s trying to get as much done in the short amount of time we have,” O’Keefe told USA TODAY in a phone interview. His goal, he says, is to “expose what these people really believe and think.”

O’Keefe’s tactics of secretly recording targets to expose them have attracted a barrage of criticism over the years and many of the group’s previous videos have been discredited partly because of the edits and cuts, allegations O’Keefe denied while talking to USA TODAY.

 

In the case of O’Rourke’s Senate campaign, Project Veritas claims that El Paso- area campaign staffers used campaign funds to assist undocumented immigrants, including providing transportation services and assistance for charity relief efforts.

The videos are always heavily edited, and each time the format is similar.  A Project Veritas inbed asks a barrage of questions to the campaign staffer, looking for any possible way to catch them in a lie.  And yes, of course, the aka impersonators are always recording.

The supreme irony of O’Keefe’s tactics??  He’s always quick to try and point out violations done by a particular campaign or candidate, yet conveniently wants to omit the fact that his “journalists” are often the ones that initiate the controversial actions in the first place.  Such is the reason why the organization and its founder always seem to end up in court once a new round of these sting videos surface, and that is likely to be the case again for the O’Rourke campaign and his other targets.

Stay tuned, but at least now you know what the Far-Right will be up-in-arms about this weekend.  And, it serves as a reminder to all the folks working hard over these last few days.

Be careful.

Despite Racist Attacks From Opponent, Sri Kulkarni Runs Transformative Campaign for Congress

In Houston and other parts of Southeast Texas, Diversity is often considered a strength.  As home to both the most Diverse City and one of the most Diverse Counties in the United States, people in this Texas community are a window into the country’s future.

One person that may represent that future more than anyone in 2018 is Sri Kulkarni, Democratic nominee for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District.  As Ella Nilsen of Vox shares, Kulkarni is running a competitive race against incumbent Pete Olson, and doing it in a transformative way…

 

When Democrat Sri Kulkarni started campaigning in the deep-red Texas district once represented by Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, consultants told him not to even bother trying to get the district’s Asian-American vote.

“I was told, ‘Don’t chase after Asian voters, they don’t vote,’” Kulkarni said in a recent interview with Vox, adding: “Maybe they don’t vote because we don’t bother.”

Kulkarni, a 40-year-old former foreign service official under the Bush and Obama administrations, is doing the opposite of what the consultants told him. “Why don’t we try reaching out in other languages, not just English?” Kulkarni thought. He’s running a campaign with volunteers speaking to voters in 16 languages — aggressively trying to convince the district’s Asian-American voters to cast their ballots for him.

[…]

It’s a simple premise: greeting a voter in his or her native language builds a relationship with that voter and opens a door to the community. Kulkarni already proved it worked in the primary, emerging on top in a field of five candidates. His campaign’s internal numbers suggested their outreach had dramatically increased Asian-American primary turnout, from 6 percent in 2014 to 28 percent in 2018.

“This thing that was a waste of time resulted in a 12-fold increase in people coming out in the Asian community,” Kulkarni told Vox.

 

That dramatic increase in turnout is key to a potential path to victory for Kulkarni.  Which is why it’s no surprise that his Republican opponent, like President Trump, is resorting to fear and racism as a response to this unique campaign.

Here’s more on that from India West

Rep. Pete Olson, a Texas Republican who is engrained in a contentious battle for the 22nd Congressional District, won’t say why he called his Indian American Democratic challenger, Sri Preston Kulkarni, an “Indo-American carpetbagger.”

In a video of an Oct. 23 campaign meet-and-greet obtained by HuffPost, Olson reminisced about a political rally President Donald Trump held in Texas.

“Out of nowhere Texans stood up and said, ‘CNN sucks, CNN sucks,’” Olson recalled, prompting laughs from his supporters.

Pressed by a voter on whether those shouts were appropriate, Olson shrugged. “Sometimes we have to have fun,” someone in attendance called out, the report said.

But in an era where voters are paying attention like never before, it’s quite possible that Olson’s shameful comments could backfire.  Kulkarni is not only working hard to reach out to the district, he’s  also not afraid to play hard ball with the incumbent’s disappointing legislative record.

As is the trend across Texas’ largest counties, those in Fort Bend are voting at historic highs for a Mid-Term election.  And part of that vote may just be motivated by Kulkarni’s wise campaign strategy, then Congressman Olson should be concerned.

Whatever the results, Texas is a better state for campaigns like the one being run by Sri Kulkarni.

Texoblogosphere: Week of October 29th

The Texas Progressive Alliance urges everyone who has voted to work to get more people to the polls as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at the potential ticket-splitters in this year’s election.

SocraticGadfly does some number-crunching on the early voting surge and offers a quick hot take on what it might mean for the Cruz-O’Rourke Senate race.

Stace at Dos Centavos reports on the weekend’s voting and cultural activities in the Northside and The Heights.

==========================

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Sanford Nowlin reminds us that some Christians do support progressive ideas and politics.

The TSTA Blog begs teachers to support public education at the ballot box.

Rick Casey votes No on a license plate honoring Confederate soldiers.

YesNoBlog suggests we pay attention to the security of our GPS systems.

Paradise in Hell ranks Donald Trump’s favorite dictators.

Out in SA warns of a threat to San Antonio’s non-discrimination ordinance.

 

Pictured is the incredible #BetoWallHTX in Houston’s 2nd Ward.  Created by Anat Ronen and Melissa Eason, the work has been an instant (or maybe we should say “Insta”) favorite for curious Houstonians.  Be sure to check it out!!

Voter Suppression 101: Why Are Harris County Voters Subjected To Limited Hours, Locations?

It may not be top of mind for most visitors, but the city of Houston and its surrounding region is something of an educational powerhouse.  With nearly 100,000 students in the area’s public and private universities, Greater Houston is a regular destination for young adults seeking higher education advancement.
As most can tell by now, interest in the 2018 election is high across the board, including college students, which have traditionally proven to be a less than dependable voting population.  As Sammy G. Allen of DIVERSE- Issues In Higher Education reports, that interest has hit a fever pitch for Texas’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs…

The U.S Senate campaign of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has motivated students at historically Black colleges and universities in Texas, resulting in thousands registering to vote, rallying for the right to vote on campus, and encouraging others to do the same.

O’Rourke, who is an El Paso congressman, has crisscrossed the state, visiting all 254 counties in an effort to unseat incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Along the way, he has stopped by numerous community colleges and universities, including four of the state’s nine HBCUs.

The pollsters and political consultants would never tell you to visit Paul Quinn College, Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University in the last month of the campaign. With so few days left, with limited time and resources, they would say spending that time with young people is a waste. That’s exactly why this campaign doesn’t use pollsters or consultants,” O’Rourke said. “My campaign is about showing up to every community and not taking anyone for granted.”

O’Rourke’s platform includes prison and judicial reform, supplying school districts with needed resources and increasing Pell grants for students who want to attend college.

Students at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, and Prairie View A&M (which, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show, is in fiercely discriminatory Waller County) will be able to exercise their right to vote between classes on campus, as both institutions will have an on-site Early Voting location, for at least part of the state-sanctioned early vote period.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for Texas’ largest historically black university, as Texas Southern University students do not have an Early Voting location on campus.

The very same is true outside of the HBCU sphere.  The University of Houston happens to be the largest institution in the state of Texas that DOES NOT have an Early Voting location on campus.  UH, as well as other system institutions University of Houston- Downtown, University of Houston- Clear Lake and University of Houston- Victoria all lack access to Early Voting on campus.  This is in marked contrast to other similarly-sized schools, like UT-Austin , Texas A&M  and UTSA, which all have at least one Early Voting site right on their campus.

As a reminder, Harris County has a population of 4.6 million people… the third largest county in the United States.  While 46 Early Voting locations may seem copious when compared to other Texas Counties, this year’s long lines would suggest that it may be time for the county to consider further expansion of their sites.  For example, Dallas County has 47 Early Voting locations for it’s 2.6 million residents, and nine more “temporary locations” employed for the 2nd week of voting.

So if you compare much larger Harris County to our neighbors to the north, you can expect longer lines and a less convenient experience getting to and through the polls, as many Houston area voters have already seen.  Compound that by the continued practice of Harris County Voters having reduced hours for the first week of Early Voting, which can further depress turnout, even if from the inconsistency of hours.

 

Folks… this is Voter Suppression.  Some may find it more subtle than aggressive Voter ID laws, or downright intimidation.  But restricting hours, limiting voter access of certain populations and having fewer locations in general than the population demands can all serve as a deterrent to voters.  And just let it sink in for a second… the third largest county in the United States doesn’t even employ MOBILE Early Voting centers?!?!  Wouldn’t this election be the year to start??

All this to say, it’s time for the citizens of Harris County to speak out and call attention to these issues.  Yes we MUST vote in the 2018 election.  But while you’re waiting in line, it’s a perfect time to call or tweet Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart and ask him why Harris County is so far behind when it comes to making Early Voting accessible for all.  This is a problem that can be solved.

Election Day 2018 is Tuesday November 6th, and Early Voting runs from October 22nd through November 2nd.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery Countyand Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

DON’T LET THEM SUPPRESS YOUR VOTE!!!  

Harris County Early Voting– With Bus and Rail Info!!

With Day One of Early Voting for the General Election concluded in Harris County, (and what a day it was, with record-shattering turnout for a Mid-Term Election), Texas Leftist has compiled a list of Harris County Voting locations, and added the nearest Metro Bus and Rail routes.  This could be a big help to voters that take public transportation, and possibly the difference for some that are on the fence about voting.  Some may not be aware of an Early Voting location near to their transit route.

Check it out, and please share!!

 

 

1)    Harris County Law Library- Conference Center (Downtown)

1019 Congress Ave, Houston, 77002

Metro Red Line, Green/Purple Line

 

2)    Moody Park Community Center (Near Northside)

3725 Fulton Street, Houston, 77009

Metro Red Line

 

3)    Kashmere Multi-Service Center (Kashmere Gardens, Greater Fifth Ward)

4802 Lockwood Drive, Houston 77026

Bus 003, 080

 

4)    Ripley House Neighborhood Center (Second Ward)

4410 Navigation Boulevard, Houston, 77011

Bus 080

 

5)    Houston Community College- Southeast Campus (Gulfgate)

6960 Rustic Street, Parking Garage, Houston, 77087

Bus 076

 

6)    Young Neighborhood Library (Third Ward)

5107 Griggs Road, Houston, 77021

Metro Purple Line, Bus 005, 080, 087

 

7)    Fiesta Mart- Houston (Astrodome/NRG)

8130 Kriby Drive, Houston, 77054

Bus 084, 014

 

8)    Metropolitan Multi-Services Center (Montrose/ Neartown/River Oaks)

1475 W. Gray Street, Houston, 77019

Bus 032

 

9)    Harris County Public Health Bldg (Galleria)

2223 West Loop South Fwy, 1st Floor, Houston 77027

Bus 032, 082

 

10)  SPJST Lodge #88 (The Heights)

1435 Beall Street, Houston, 77008

Bus 027

 

11)  Northeast Multi-Service Center (Trinity Gardens)

 9720 Spaulding Street, Bldg #4, Houston, 77016

 Bus 003, 045, 077

 

12)  Sunnyside Multi-Service Center

 9314 Cullen Boulevard, Houston, 77051

 Bus 029, 087

 

13)  Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center (South Houston)

 3810 W. Fuqua Street, Houston, 77045

 Bus 014

 

14)  Bayland Park Community Center (Southwest Houston)

 6400 Bissonnet Street (near Hillcroft), Houston, 77074

 Bus 047, 065

 

15)  Tracey Gee Community Center (Near West Side, Beltway 8 & Richmond)

 3599 Westcenter Drive, Houston, 77042

 Bus 025, 153

 

16)  Trini Mendenhall Community Center (Spring Branch)

 1414 Wird Road, Houston, 77055

 Bus 072

 

17)  Lone Star College- Victory Center

 4141 Victory Drive, Houston, 77088

 Bus 079

 

18)  Acres Homes Multi-Service Center

6719 W. Montgomery Road, Houston, 77091

Bus 044, 064

19)  Harris County Scarsdale Annex

 10851 Scarsdale Boulevard, Houston, 77089

 Bus 088

 

20)  Alief ISD Administration Bldg

 4250 Cook Road, Houston, 77072

 Bus 002, 151

 

21)  Nottingham Park

 926 Country Place Drive, Houston, 77079

 Bus 162

 

 

Texas Leftist 2018 Endorsements

After much consideration, and several requests from loyal readers, Texas Leftist has decided to issue endorsements for the 2018 Election.  And yes, this endorsement list is being compiled without having completed a general election questionnaire series, known as the TLCQ.  But knowing how important this list is to some readers, for one final time, I am happy to provide it.

Below is the full list of Texas Leftist endorsements for 2018.  I may follow up with more in depth posts for a few of the races.

Lastly… for so many reasons, the 2018 General Election is the most important vote that Texans will take in more than a generation… it could, indeed, be the most important vote of our lives.  Thank you for taking it seriously, and an incredible thank you for consulting Texas Leftist as you head to the polls.  Please encourage everyone that you know to do their research, and be sure to vote.  With an historic number of Texans registered, the final step is to make sure that we ALL show up.

Election Day 2018 is Tuesday November 6th, and Early Voting runs from October 22nd through November 2nd.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery Countyand Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

Federal Races

U.S. Senator:                                                    Beto O’Rourke (D)

U.S. Rep. District 2:                                      Todd Litton (D)

U.S. Rep. District 7:                                      Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D)

U.S. Rep. District 8:                                      Steven David (D)

U.S. Rep. District 9:                                      Al Green (D)

U.S. Rep. District 10:                                    Mike Siegel (D)

U.S. Rep. District 14:                                    Adrienne Bell (D)

U.S. Rep. District 18:                                    Sheila Jackson-Lee (D)

U.S. Rep. District 22:                                    Sri Preston Kulkarni (D)

U.S. Rep. District 29:                                    Sylvia R. Garcia (D)

U.S. Rep. District 14:                                    Dayna Steele (D)

 

Statewide Races

Governor:                                                                Lupe Valdez (D)

Lieutenant Governor:                                       Mike Collier (D)

Attorney General:                                               Justin Nelson (D)

Comptroller of Public Accounts:                Joi Chevalier (D)

Commissioner- General Land Office:      Miguel Suazo (D)

Commissioner of Agriculture:                     Kim Olson (D)

Railroad Commissioner:                                  Roman McAllen (D)

 

Justice, Supreme Court Place 2:                  Steven Kirkland (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 4:                  R. K. Sandill (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 6:                 Kathy Cheng (D)

Presiding Judge, Ct Criminal Appeals:    Maria T. Jackson (D)

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7:          Ramona Franklin (D)

 

State Legislative Races

State Senator, District 7:                                David Romero (D)

State Senator, District 15:                             John Whitmire (D)

State Senator, District 17:                             Rita Lucido (D)

 

State Rep. District 15:                                         Lorena Perez McGill (D)

State Rep. District 27:                                         NO ENDORSEMENT

State Rep. District 129:                                      Alexander Karjeker (D)

State Rep. District 130:                                      Fred Infortunio (D)

State Rep. District 131:                                      Alma Allen (D)

State Rep. District 132:                                      Gina Calanni (D)

State Rep. District 133:                                      Marty Schexnayder (D)

State Rep. District 138:                                       Adam Milasincic (D)

State Rep. District 144:                                       Mary Ann Perez (D)

State Rep. District 147:                                       Garnet Coleman (D)

State Rep. District 148:                                       Jessica Christina Farrar (D)

 

District Judicial Races

1st Court of Appeals, Place 6:                           Sarah Beth Landau (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 7:                           Julie Countiss (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 8:                            Richard Hightower (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 9:                           Peter Kelly (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 3:                         Jerry Zimmerer (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 4:                          Charles Spain (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 5:                          Frances Bourliot (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 6:                          Meagan Hassan (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 8:                          Margaret Poissant (D)

55th Judicial District:                                                Latosha Lewis Payne (D)

113th Judicial District:                                             Rabeea Collier (D)

157th Judicial District:                                             Tanya Garrison (D)

180th Judicial District:                                             DaSean Jones (D)

182nd Judicial District:                                            Danillo Lacayo (D)

184th Judicial District:                                             Abigail Anastasio (D)

190th Judicial District:                                             Beau Miller (D)

208th Judicial District:                                             Greg Glass (D)

209th Judicial District:                                 Brian Warren (D)

230th Judicial District:                                 Chris Morton (D)

232nd Judicial District:                                Josh Hill (D)

234th Judicial District:                                 Lauren Reeder (D)

246th Judicial District:                                 Angela Graves-Harrington (D)

263rd Judicial District:                                  Amy Martin

269th Judicial District:                                  Cory Sepolio (D)

295th Judicial District:                                   Donna Roth (D)

245th Family Judicial District:                    Tristan H. Longino (D)

247th Family Judicial District:                    Janice Berg (D)

248th Family Judicial District:                    Hilary Unger (D)

257th Family Judicial District:                    Sandra Peake (D)

280th Family Judicial District:                    Barbara J. Stadler (D)

308th Family Judicial District:                    Gloria Lopez  (D)

309th Family Judicial District:                    Linda Marie Dunson (D)

310th Family Judicial District:                    Sonya Heath (D)

311th Family Judicial District:                    Germaine Tanner (D)

312th Family Judicial District:                    Clinton “Chip” Wells (D)

314th Family Judicial District:                    Michelle Moore (D)

315th Family Judicial District:                    Leah Shapiro (D)

District Clerk:                                                         Marilyn Burgess (D)

 

Harris County Races

County Judge:                                                              Ed Emmett (R)

County Commissioner: Pct. 2:                           Adrian Garcia (D)

County Commissioner Pct. 4:                            Penny Shaw (D)

County Clerk                                                                Diane Trautman (D)

County Treasurer                                                     Dylan Osborne (D)

County Probate Court No. 1                             Jerry Simoneaux (D)

County Probate Court No. 4                             James S. Horwitz (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 3-AL:                  Richard Cantu (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 4-P.3:                  Andrea Duhon (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 6-P.1:                  Danyahel Norris (D)

 

Propositions

City of Houston Prop A                             FOR

City of Houston Prop B                             AGAINST (yes, a tough choice)

 

 

 

Texas Leftist has chosen to endorse candidates because they have demonstrated a commitment to advancing public policies that will improve the lives of Texans.  Though each person’s individual positions vary, they are generally candidates that stand for equality, social justice, healthcare expansion, living wage, economic prosperity and common-sense governance.

The following resources were also consulted for the 2018 Texas Leftist endorsements: Off The Kuff’s 2018 interview seriesDos CentavosHouston GLBT CaucusProject Vote SmartThe Texas TribuneThe Houston Chronicle Endorsements, The Dallas Morning News Endorsements,  The League of Women Voters Guide, The Longview News Journal and Ballotpedia.

 

Texas-Sized Leap: Voter Registration Approaches Presidential Year Levels, BUT…

We’ve said it before on this blog, but Texas is *not* a ‘Red State’.

Its a Non-Voting State.

If even a simple majority percentage of eligible voters in the Lone Star State actually decided to show up and vote, the political structure of Texas would look very different than it does today.  At least, that’s the theory.

So for 2018, we must ask once again. Will November 6th finally reveal a new, BLUE Texas?

We’re still not sure.  But what we do know is that Texas Voters, so far, are already bucking the trends from previous elections.  Here’s more on that from Ryan Ordmandy of KLTV News East Texas

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Almost 16 million Texans are registered to vote in the upcoming midterm election. East Texas elections administrators say they’ve seen a sharp increase.

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement in the air and a lot of people have gotten registered to vote,” said Todd Stallings, the Nacogdoches County elections administrator.

That excitement is state-wide. This year, the Texas secretary of state reports that almost 16 million Texans are registered to vote this fall, 1.6 million more than the previous mid-term election in 2014.

“What we’re seeing this time is a lot more like a presidential election than a midterm election,” Stallings said. “It’s pretty phenomenal for a midterm year for the numbers to be going as high as they are. We broke the record here in Nacogdoches County for our voter registration. We’ve gone from about 35,000 in 2016 to 37,000 now.”

 

It’s a significant leap for Nacogdoches County, as well as across the entire state. Per Texas Tribune reporter AlexaUra, last count saw the state’s voter registration soaring to historic heights for a Mid-Term Election. The difference in registrants actually on par with Presidential election years, like 2012.  From the Texas Secretary Of State’s Office, here’s the data…

Texas Registered Voters For Primary Season, the General Election, and the difference between them from 2000 to 2018 (the final official number for 2018 is still pending.

Like the data above, this shows the difference between voters registered during Primary season to the General Election. 2018 is clearly historic for a Mid-Term in this measure… just shy of the gains made during the 2012 Presidential Election.

In previous years, Texas has even seen the number of registered voters drop off significantly from the Presidential voting year to Mid-Terms. But 2018 looks to show an impressive gain from the 2016 count… nearly double that of the difference between 2012 and 2014.

But we’ve seen something similar before…

In 2014, Texas voter registration also surged to historic levels for a mid-term election, but then also ended with shockingly low turnout at the polls.  For leaders in the Democratic campaigns and in Battleground Texas, it was a tough lesson to learn.

So is an even more impressive number of registrants another sign of true change across the state?  Was the last minute surge due to the Kavanaugh hearings, the “Taylor Swift effect”, or some strange combination of both?

Regardless of the particular question, the answer is still the same.  Don’t wonder about itWORK FOR IT.  The time is NOW to Block Walk, phone bank, talk to your friends and family, and even people you don’t know and share with them how critically important this election will be. Let’s get these voters turned out, and bring the new Texas to bear!!

 

A Voice for the Rest of Texas